Manitoba protesters stand in solidarity with Standing Rock
Large demonstration shut down part of Portage and Main intersection in Winnipeg Tuesday night
At a major intersection which is usually crammed with rush hour traffic, more than 100 people held signs and chanted "water is life" on Tuesday evening in Winnipeg.
The group at Portage Avenue and Main Street joined other demonstrations across North America for a National Day of Action to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation, whose members have been protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota.
"North Dakota is closer than you think, it's only about an eight hour drive to the Standing Rock reservation so they are really our neighbour and there's a bit of solidarity there," organizer Mitchell Van Ineveld said.
He added that pipeline fights are a global issue
"When a company is ramming through a pipeline in North Dakota that has consequences for people in Canada as well," Van Ineveld said. "It sets a precedent where it's okay to ignore the voices of Indigenous communities when it comes to resource projects."
On Tuesday, 28 protestors against the Dakota Access pipeline were arrested in North Dakota. Officers in riot gear used pepper spray and in one instance a stun gun to remove protestors from an area west of Mandan, N.D.
"It's a clear example of environmental racism on the part of the US Army Corps of Engineers and Energy Transfer Partners," Van Ineveld said.
- Officers in riot gear arrest 28 in violent clashes with North Dakota pipeline protesters
- Dakota Access pipeline delay a political tactic, company says
In Winnipeg, the group chose the busy intersection to raise awareness but also to send a message to banks financing the pipeline construction, Van Ineveld said.
The protestors chanted about water and yelled "standing with Standing Rock." As the crowd grew in size, police showed up to direct traffic away from the demonstration.
Gary Gieslason passionately yelled in support.
"I stand solidly with this group. I protest all this oil waste … I want alternative energy," he said.
"I will tell you, this is just the beginning."
At Brandon University about 70 people gathered for a solidarity flash mob round dance. There was a prayer circle and a smudge before the round dance began.